Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Creating Your Happy New Year by Frank Lindner, MS, LMHC, Counseling Services
Positive Psychology is of of the the most popular courses at Harvard University, with the goal of teaching how to put positive emotion to work in your life.
Numerous scientific studies, support the notion that positive emotions have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well being On the other hand, chronic anger, worry, and hostility increase the risk of developing heart disease, as the human body naturally responds to these feelings with raised blood pressure and stiffening blood vessels. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that people who are generally hopeful were less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, or respiratory tract infection than those who were less hopeful.
Tips for Creating Happiness:
First give yourself permission to be human. Accepting emotions such as fear, sadness, or anxiety as natural, Helps us to be more likely to overcome them. Rejecting our emotions, wether positive or negative, can lead to feelings of frustration and unhappiness.
Become involved in activities that are both personally significant and enjoyable. When this is not practical, make sure you have happiness boosters, such as moments throughout the week that provide you with both pleasure and meaning.
Keep in mind that happiness is mostly dependent on our state of mind, not on our status or the state of our bank account. Barring extreme circumstances, our level of well being is determined by what we choose to focus on (the full or the empty part of the glass) and by our interpretation of external events. For example, do we view failure as catastrophic, or do we see it as a learning opportunity?
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) Simplify your life! We have become a culture that is too busy, by trying to squeeze in more and more activities into less and less available time. Quantity influences quality, and we compromise on our happiness by doing too much.
Remember the mind-body connection. What we do (or don't do) with our bodies influences our mind.
Get regular exercise, restorative sleep, and be mindful about eating healthfully.
Using healthy relaxation such as guided imagery or meditation lead to both physical and mental health.
Finally express gratitude, whenever possible. We too often take our lives and experiences for granted. Learn to appreciate and savor the wonderful things in life, from people to food, from nature to a smile.
name: Frank Lindner, MS, LMHC
phone: (631) 473-0405